Mohsen B. Mesgaran

Mohsen B Mesgaran, UC Davis Plant Sciences, Weed ecology

Position Title
Assistant Professor

  • Faculty
UC Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis CA 95616


  • Ph.D., University of Tehran, Iran; Weed Science/Ecology, 2011
  • M.Sc., University of Tehran, Iran; Weed Science/Ecology, 2006

Research interests and expertise: 

I am particularly interested in understanding the eco-evolutionary processes underpinning the spread and escalation of weedy and invasive plants both in agricultural and natural systems. In research on weeds, I am striving to establish links between ecological patterns and physiological processes through advanced modeling approaches. My lab uses a diverse variety of tools and techniques including advanced modeling, remote and proximal sensing, image processing, and GIS to develop “eco-tech” solutions for ecological management of weeds as well as a better understating of the spatial and temporal variability of weed populations and communities. My research has direct outcomes for ecological management of weeds and thus can help reduce the use of chemicals in weed management. The current focuses of the lab are:

  1. Reproduction biology (mating system) of weeds and invasive plants
  2. Interaction between weedy plants and their pollinators
  3. Spatiotemporal dynamics of weeds and invasive plants
  4. Seed germination and emergence ecology with focus on development of predictive models
  5. Big data modeling and precision agriculture
  6. Application of artificial intelligence (deep learning) in weed science and management

Current projects: 

  • Deciphering sex determination in Palmer amaranth (Ph.D. student Wenzhuo Wu)
  • Seed quality test by using hyperspectral imaging (Masters student Jia Tian)
  • Automated survey of johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) along the roads (Masters student Tong Zhen)
  • Weed seedling emergence network (in collabroation with Dr. Antonio DiTommaso, Cornell University)
  • Pollination ecology of hybridizing invasive plants: Cakile spp. as a model system (collaborating with the University of Melbourne as the co-supervisor of Ph.D. student Tara Jalili)
  • Quantification of lag phase during plant invasions: a global analysis (collaborating with the University of Melbourne as the co-supervisor of Ph.D. student Philipp Robeck)
  • Understanding the breeding systems of Cakile edentula, C. maritima and their hybrids (collaborating with the University of Melbourne as the co-supervisor of Ph.D. student Chengjun Li)

Current teaching: 

  • Introduction to Weed Science; PLS 176 (winter quarter, currently giving a couple of lectures; starting as main instructor in winter 2019)

External activities that contribute to scholarship:

  • Journal reviewer for Weed Research, Weed Science, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Scientific Reports, Journal of Ecology, Diversity and Distribution, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, PLoS ONE, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Ecological Modelling, Landscape Ecology, Annals of Botany, European Journal of Agronomy, Agronomy Journal, Field Crop Research, Weed Technology, Iranian Journal of Weed Science, African Journal of Plant Science, Nordic Journal of Botany, Phytoparasitica, Journal of Plant Pests and Diseases, NJAS ñ Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences

Prizes, Awards, Honors:

  • McKenzie Fellowship, The University of Melbourne, Australia (~$255,000; 3 years)

Google Scholar 


Social media links: 


  • Weed
  • Invasive plant
  • Invasion
  • Ecology
  • Modeling
  • Population dynamics
  • Mating system
  • Seed germination
  • Weed management
  • Pollination ecology
  • Seedling emergence
  • Remote sensing
  • Mechanistic model
  • Hybridization
  • Data analysis
  • Seedbank
  • Deep learning
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Machine learning
  • eco-technology